The Little City of Vergennes, Vermont has a long-standing commitment to the youth of this area and has a network of parent and not-for-profit groups in place to help each young person grow up secure and supported. In the late 1990s, local parent, coach and mentor Sam Allo began a quest to create a place that was to be designed to address the needs of all of the young people in the five towns surrounding Vergennes. Already a founder and member of the Commodore Booster Club that supports athletics in the area, Allo reached out to the model that was pivotal in his youth, The Boys & Girls Club of America. Often quoted as saying the Boys & Girls Club saved his life and altered the direction of his choices as a youth, Allo opened up dialogues with all stakeholders in the community to create awareness of the offerings of the Boys & Girls Club on a national level and what a club would mean to local youth. After an eighteen-month campaign of grant writing and intense focus, Sam opened the doors on a rental space in town in early 2000 and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes was born.
Moving twenty years into the future, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes has evolved and grown. Through the intense work of the various Board of Directors, Executive Directors Mike Reiderer and Jill Strube, and the generous support of local groups, individuals, and the Puschel family, the club has a permanent home at 20 Armory Lane. With 140 members currently on the roster, the club is involved in the lives of youths, ranging from grades 4-12. With both teen and youth programs, the focus of the Boys & Girls Club is to provide a safe, inclusive and nurturing place to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. The focus is to provide each young person who enters the doors (and all members) ways to learn and demonstrate good character and citizenship while developing their passions and helping them excel in school and in healthy lifestyle choices. The staff of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes takes great pride in the relationships, opportunities, and long-term investment they make in each and every club member.